Failure to launch
Two years ago, the nostalgia-inducing beverage company, Clearly Canadian, launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund a re-launch of their company, as well as, their beverages.
Even though the company was successful in their campaign, no-doubt a testimonial to the popularity of the company, many people who backed the campaign are angry.
People are peeved
The Consumerist recently broke this story, detailing even though it has been more than a year since the company finally started shipping out pre-orders to those who backed it (remember, the campaign was TWO years ago), some customers say their orders still aren’t complete.
A Clearly Canadian spokeswoman, Jennifer Black, told Consumerist that 9,000 cases had been produced and shipped and that the remaining 16,000 cases would be produced and shipped starting in August through September.
The company has stated several reasons for the delay ranging from “lack of funds” to a “closed manufacturing facility.”
Neither one of which are very helpful for the campaign backers who are out the money and without their products. Unfortunately, this is not the first time a crowdfunding campaign has gone sour. We discussed two instances of bad crowdfunding behavior: one involving marketing cheap watches as high-end timepieces, and the other, stall tactics (similar to Clearly Canadian).
Remember the Peachy Printer “scam?”
One Kickstarter campaign promised backers a 3D printer for under $100 and backers couldn’t get enough of it – but there was a big problem, which we covered here (hint: it didn’t go as planned either).
The beginning of a much larger problem
Every online marketplace from Etsy to Ebay, sees its share of marketing scams, apparently, crowdfunding is no exception.
However, as more of these types of scams and stall tactics begin to emerge, more and more people are going to shy away from using these types of platforms.
Two years of waiting is more than patient, especially when the product was supposed to be rolled out to the consumer by a specific deadline (October 2015).
Clearly they could handle this better
I call shenanigans. When they began their campaign, they set a goal of $50,000; not only did they meet this goal, but they far and away exceeded it – raising $153,033. They stated that these funds would be used to “bring back Clearly Canadian.” While they have stated time and time again that the closing of one plant has delayed production, they should have had a back-up plan in place just in case something unforeseen happened, or refunded their backers’ money.
Either way, I don’t believe that making their backers wait for two+ years is acceptable.
It certainly won’t engender the Clearly Canadian brand to those who were obviously so passionate about it and wanted to bring it back.
Especially given their “philosophy” that is posted on their crowdfunding page:
“We do not believe in “customers” in any traditional sense. Whether correct or not – we believe in friends and family and see our relationship with those who interact with Clearly Canadian (meaning you) as long-term based on shared beliefs about what makes for a healthy life based on good thoughts, good words and good deeds… No one here – not for a minute – takes anything for granted…”
It seems as though they may want to take another look at their own philosophy and do “good words and deeds” by their customers before they sink with no hopes of return. What do you think? Did you back Clearly Canadian?